Switching to Webflow
I was already kicking around the idea of redoing my portfolio site and with Webflow targeting me on social I thought it might be a good time to try something new. Feeling bored with Wordpress and frustrated with GoDaddy as my hosting platform and domain registrar I was eager to jump to something different. I had heard great things about Webflow and made the leap. It's safe to say I'm not looking back, it was a great decision.
I purchased a new domain with Google Domains, set my DNS records and was up and running with a published new site pretty quickly. Seeing as most of my recent work evolves around tech and development I went with .io for my domain, call it a tip of the hat if you will. Being completely new to Webflow and all of its features, I chose to start with a template to help get my bearings. I'm no hero and didn't want to spend a ton of time building from scratch. I have every intention of doing that in the future but for my first portfolio site I'm glad I started with some sort of foundation. There is so much about Webflow that I love but for the sake of this post I'll go over my top three.
The CMS Collection feature is really robust and extremely easy to use and implement into the site. Within just a few minutes I had blog posts, services I offer and all of my portfolio projects input it. Creating new collections, adding categories and duplicating collection items is also super easy. It didn't take long to add 8 projects to the site, all in the same format. From a blog management perspective I could see how handing this off to a client to use would be easily teachable. The UI is pretty friendly and I don't think it'd be difficult for a marketing content person or business owner to pick up.
The amount of control you have from a design perspective is pretty insane. Although, this can be a little intimidating at first and I'm probably still feeling that way if I'm honest. At first glance it appears to just be a typical drag-and-drop editor but once you place the element where you want it and you see the settings menu magically populate on the right side of your screen, you realize this isn't your average site builder. Colors, font sizes, margins, padding, display settings, positions, effects... it's all there and really intuitive. One thing I'm still trying to figure out are the interactions. It's a valuable feature but I still haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet.
This sounds a little boring but the settings for each project or site you're creating was really one of my favorite things about Webflow. Connecting my custom domain was a breeze and the paring of Webflow and Google Domains is perfect unity that'd I'd highly recommend. Webflow does a great job of holding in your hand with SEO as well. I have a little experience with SEO but having a platform like this where they walk you through best practices is really nice. The integration feature is great too. With just a few clicks I had a Google Maps API integrated in with my contact page and I've only scratched the surface on other integrations and API features offered in Webflow.
So far I'm super impressed and wish I would have started using Webflow sooner. It's finally that perfect marriage of design and web development and I didn't have to go to some boot camp to figure it out. I still have a lot to learn and would like to navigate away from the template world at some point. For now my portfolio is live and functional and I'm happy with that. I'll try and keep posting as I dive in further to Webflow and write about my findings. Happy designing.